Summary: Google Docs’ Smart Compose feature now includes the ability to solve simple math problems as you type them. This feature is currently rolling out to Google Workspace business and education users on a rapid release schedule, with broader availability planned for December 18th.

Google is known for its continuous efforts to enhance its suite of productivity tools, and the latest development focuses on the Smart Compose feature within Google Docs and other Workspace applications.

Smart Compose, originally designed to assist users with writing tasks, is now evolving to tackle mathematical equations in real-time. This new capability leverages Google’s machine learning technology to provide immediate solutions to simple math problems.

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Real-Time Math Assistance

The enhanced Smart Compose feature in Google Docs, Slides, Sheets, and Drawings brings real-time math assistance to the forefront. When users enter a math equation, the Smart Compose assistant immediately suggests the answer, eliminating the need for manual calculations. This can significantly accelerate tasks involving mathematical operations within documents and presentations.

Rollout Schedule

The rollout of this feature is divided into two phases. Paid Google Workspace business and education users will have access to it first, with the rollout already underway for those on the rapid release schedule. Users with scheduled releases can expect to see this feature starting on December 18. However, it may take up to 15 days for the functionality to become available to all users within these categories.

How It Works

Smart Compose for math equations relies on recognizing the equal (=) symbol in the text, indicating a mathematical operation. Once detected, the feature utilizes machine learning algorithms to solve the equation, mimicking the functionality of a calculator. The solution is presented as a suggestion, appearing greyed-out, and users can insert it by pressing the tab key. To disregard the suggestion, users can simply press the space bar.

Scope and Accuracy

While Google’s Smart Compose is poised to streamline math-related tasks, its scope is primarily limited to “simple” math problems. The article does not provide a precise definition of “simple,” but it does highlight that the feature successfully solved equations with multiple steps, adhering to the correct order of operations. It’s worth noting that, like other Smart Compose applications, Google does not guarantee 100% accuracy.

Activation and Control

For paid Google Workspace business and education customers, the Smart Compose feature will be enabled by default. Users can verify its status by navigating to preferences within a document and checking the “Show Smart Compose suggestions” checkbox. This feature cannot be administered or controlled by administrators, potentially posing challenges in educational settings.

Exclusion from Personal Accounts

As of now, the enhanced Smart Compose functionality is not available for personal Google Workspace accounts. This decision may be subject to change in the future, but for the time being, it is exclusively offered to paid business and education users.

Implications and Considerations

While Google envisions increased productivity and accuracy in solving math equations across Google Workspace, concerns may arise, particularly in educational contexts. The article notes that teachers and educators might have reservations about students relying on this feature, potentially impacting their learning experience. Additionally, the absence of administrative control over Smart Compose raises questions about managing its usage in educational settings.

In conclusion, Google’s introduction of real-time math problem-solving through the Smart Compose feature represents a significant step toward improving productivity within Google Workspace. However, its selective availability and potential implications for education warrant further consideration and discussion.

Source: Android Central